LLAS News Blog

News articles of interest to higher education LLAS subject fields.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Pupils to learn a language in GCSE shake-up

A shake-up of league tables used to rate schools will force growing numbers of teenagers to take GCSEs in subjects such as French, German and Spanish.

The Telegraph

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Today is World Languages Day

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is World Languages Day, and it seems appropriate to announce a happy but increasingly uncommon event: the discovery of a previously unknown language in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Koro, as the language is called, is spoken by hill tribes living in the northeastern state of India called Arunachal Pradesh, near the borders with China and Burma. Its discovery bucks a trend, since linguists have estimated that at least half of the roughly 7,000 extant human languages will be dead or moribund – meaning that children will not be able to speak them – by 2100. In fact, Koro was first identified by a team of Indian language surveyors in 2003, but its findings were never published. The three linguists who announced their "discovery" of Koro last month travelled to the remote Indian province as part of National Geographic's Enduring Voices project, to record two other, little-known languages belonging to the Tibeto-Burman language family, Aka and Miju, and rediscovered Koro by accident.

The Independent

Monday, 8 November 2010

UK students too reluctant to study abroad, says British Council boss

Fewer than one in every 200 of the UK's university students spend part of their degree in another European country – almost a third fewer than in France or Germany, figures reveal today.

The British Council, which collected the data, warned that the country's economic future would be in jeopardy unless more teenagers went abroad to study. Last year, just 0.46% of UK undergraduates took part in Erasmus, the largest pan-Europe programme to assist student exchanges. In France and Germany, almost three times the proportion took part: 1.31% and 1.24% respectively.

The Guardian

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Speak to the future: New languages campaign launched

Speak to the future is a developing five-year campaign, from 2011 to 2015, to improve the UK’s understanding of the value of languages in all areas of life; to achieve a step change in language learning at all levels; to improve the nation’s capacity in language skills and professional services.

The campaign is addressed principally to policy makers in government and leaders in education and business. It will aim to demonstrate the importance of languages for success in social, economic, political and cultural life. It will identify specific steps that we should take now to promote and increase language learning in the UK.

The campaign will span the intended life of the current Parliament, taking in the milestones and opportunities of the 2012 Olympics, the 2014 European Parliament elections and the election campaigns for the next Welsh Assembly and Scottish and Westminster Parliaments.

Speak to the future website